Situated in the heart of a lush 12-acre tropical flower garden in the beautiful island of Bali is the private-owned Bali Zoo. This world-class zoo is maintained by more than 100 staffers, petting and taking care of a number of animals that roam freely in their natural habitats. The zoo features an open range for African lions, bird aviaries, a Komodo Dragon cage, Gibbon Island, and a petting area, to name a few attractions. The petting area is the zoo’s special attraction since the goal of Bali Zoo is to provide guests with a truly “hands-on experience” of what it is like to take care of the animals. To encourage interaction between guests and animals, the zoo allows anyone entering the gate to take pictures with the animals and to touch and feed them. The most popular animals for picture-taking are the lions, crocodiles, eagles, snakes, and binturongs (or Asian Bearcats).
Zoo guests always have this unexplained hankering to feed the animals. It is probably a natural form of bonding between species. In Bali Zoo, not only is feeding the animals allowed, it also encouraged. Next to the ticket counter are foods for sale that are specifically for the animals. There are different foods that suit the different taste preferences of gibbons, orangutans, crocodiles, deer, wallabies, and camels, among others, including the tigers and lions. There are also tiny and friendly animals that children may freely pet. Kids would definitely enjoy petting the rabbits, horses and baby deer. The braver children may touch and pet a snake.
In Gibbon Island, guests are allowed to interact with the apes face to face. This attraction is primarily what Bali Zoo is famous for. Gibbons are also called the “lesser apes” because they are tiny for an ape and look more like monkeys. They are experts in tree climbing, swinging and leaping, which makes them great zoo attractions. Their dexterity actually makes them difficult to spot in the wild, and so viewing them inside a zoo is quite a unique experience. They are also very sociable among their kind and known to make loud calls.
Other attractions and facilities inside the zoo are dining facilities and a souvenir shop that sells all sorts of zoo mementos such T-shirts, pictures and picture frames, paintings, mugs, and handicrafts. A popular restaurant is the Starbhoga, serving American, Indonesian and Balinese foods. The zoo also boasts of being wheel-chair friendly.
For a guided tour of ten people or more, guests may pre-book a tour via email. The zoo provides a day-long program and English-speaking guides without additional costs other than the admission fee. Also, an educational show takes place daily at 11:00 AM, 1:00 PM, 3:00 PM and 4:00 PM. The zoo also offers catering for tour groups, educational trips, birthday parties, or corporate functions.
Bali Zoo is clearly one of the leading attractions in this world-class island resort in Indonesia. Located within Bali’s cultural hub, the zoo is only about 45 minutes away from Kuta, Tuban, Legian and Seminyak, 20 twenty minutes from Sanur Beach and about 15 minutes from Ubud by car. Admission fee is very affordable at US$24 for adults and US$12 for children. Children below 2 years may enter for free. It is open every day from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM.